Republicans have experienced a significant bounce in voter registrations in the key swing state of Pennsylvania, netting roughly seven times more registrations than Democrats since the last presidential election.
Several polls show President Trump gradually closing the gap in the Keystone State, which RealClearPolitics has in Joe Biden’s (D) column by just over four percent. A Rasmussen Reports survey of likely voters in Pennsylvania released last week emphasized the shift in the state, showing Trump and his Democrat opponent tied with 46 percent each.
Regardless of the surveys, Trump’s campaign, as well as his allies, are continuing to put stock in the existence of the “silent majority” — a sect of Trump voters who are not explicitly expressing their Election Day intentions. Recent voter registration data from Pennsylvania is feeding those beliefs.
While Democrats have a sizable advantage in overall registered voters throughout the state, holding an advantage of roughly 750,000, the GOP has added 198,000 registered voters since the 2016 election — nearly seven times more than the 29,000 picked up by Democrats. Democrats currently comprise 47 percent of the electorate, down from 49 percent in 2016. The GOP now stands at 39 percent, up a single percentage point from 2016.
According to Politico, “the GOP has seized on their uptick in party members as a sign that Trump is on track to win this critical Rust Belt swing state a second time”:
The GOP has also seen a larger boost in registrations than Democrats in three critical areas across Pennsylvania: Erie, Luzerne and Northampton counties, all of which helped Trump flip the state by backing him after supporting former President Barack Obama in 2012.
In 2016, Trump defeated Hillary Clinton in Erie County by 1.6 percent, Luzerne by 19.3 percent, and Northampton by 3.8 percent. By contrast, Barack Obama defeated his challenger Mitt Romney in Erie County by 16.9 percent, Luzerne by 4.9 percent, and Northampton by 4.5 percent.
Gloria Lee Snover, chair of the Northampton County Republican Party, said that people are telling her that they “want to be in the Trump party.”
“It’s Trump, Trump, Trump,” she said, according to Politico. “They’re like, ‘Oh, I want to be in the Trump party.’ It’s kind of funny. … I’m like, ‘You mean the Republican Party?’ They’re like, ‘Oh, yeah.’”
Ultimately, Trump scored a surprise upset in the Keystone State in 2016, besting Clinton by less than a single percentage point.
Both Biden and Trump have stumped in the battleground state in recent days. Last week, Biden made a rare appearance on the campaign trail in the western region of the state and asked, “Do I look like a radical socialist, with a soft spot for rioters?”
Trump also appeared in the state last week and busted Biden for loosening his position on fracking.
“Now, Biden came out today and said, ‘No, no, fracking is ok’. … Because he was getting killed!” Trump said.
“He said we would make sure that it would be eliminated,” he continued. “Now, he is coming in saying, ‘This is not working too well.’”